Sheehan won the endorsement of the party's state central committee and is expected to announce her candidacy or the formation of an exploratory committee "probably in a couple of weeks," C.T. Weber, a member of the state party's executive committee, said Tuesday.
A statement on a Peace and Freedom Party website quoted Sheehan as saying she wants to run for governor "primarily because I believe that California should be leading the nation in peace, education, health care, sustainable/renewable energy and democracy."
Sheehan, 56, gained notoriety for protesting outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004. She made a failed bid for vice president last year alongside Roseanne Barr as the Peace and Freedom Party's candidates.
Running as an independent against U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 2008, Sheehan came in second with about 16 percent of the vote, finishing ahead of the Republican in the race.
Her gubernatorial prospects may be long. The incumbent, Democrat Jerry Brown, has raised more than $10 million for his re-election campaign. The Peace and Freedom Party's last gubernatorial candidate, Carlos Alvarez, received just less than 1 percent of the vote in 2010.
Because of her notoriety, Sheehan should do better than that, Weber said. Asked if he thought she has a chance of defeating Brown, he said, "I would really appreciate it if she did."
A Sheehan representative did not respond to a request for comment.
PHOTO: Cindy Sheehan speaks at a public meeting in Sacramento in 2011. The Sacramento Bee/José Luis Villegas